A FAMILY have been left homeless and living on handouts after a blaze ripped through their South Yorkshire house - leaving the badly damaged property at risk of demolition.
Kerry, aged 29 and Steven Shaw, 36, and the five children they have between them, were left with just the clothes they were wearing when their home on Crumwell Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham, went up in flames.
Their house, which did not have contents insurance, has been deemed too dangerous to return to because the roof collapsed and it could now be pulled down.
Kerry and Steven and their children - Katie, 17 , Chris, 14, Chloe, 10, Connor, eight, and Casey, five - have been offered emergency accommodation with a relative while they wait for Rotherham Council to find them a new home.
But they claim the only property they have been offered is unsuitable because it is too close to the M1.
Daughter Chloe is visually impaired and has undergone mobility training around Kimberworth to enable her to find her way around - but the home they have been offered is in Blackburn.
Kerry said: “The house would be too dangerous - all the kids would have to do is go out of the garden and cross the road and they would be on the motorway.”
The fire broke out in the loft area and engulfed the roof.
Firefighters believe a boiler fault started the blaze.
Kerry said: “I can’t describe how I felt when I saw the house - totally devastated.
“We had just saved up to decorate and buy new furniture three weeks before the fire, so we are gutted that this has happened because we are on benefits so it took a long time to save up.
“We haven’t been back in the house yet because they say it is too dangerous for us, but I doubt that we will be able to save anything.
“We just really hope that the council finds us somewhere to live in the same area, where Chloe knows and where we have family and friends to support us.”
A Rotherham Council spokesman said: “We understand and sympathise with their situation, especially regarding their daughter.
“However, the house they’ve been offered was the only one available which met their needs.
“We have tried to make the family as comfortable as possible during this stressful time for them and will keep them updated at every step of the way.”